ESL Shipping Sets Sights on World’s First LNG-Fuelled Bulkers

Finnish dry bulk shipping company ESL Shipping has revealed plans to order two large LNG-fuelled bulk carriers from Chinese shipbuilder Sinotrans & CSC Qingshan Shipyard.

The two 25,600 DWT vessels are set to start operating in the Baltic Sea in early 2018. The total value of the investment is approximately EUR 60 million, ESL Shipping said. The ships will be designed by Finnish designer Deltamarin and will feature B.Delta26LNG design.

The LNG-fuelled B.Delta26LNG bulk carrier is equipped with both dual-fuel main and auxiliary machinery. The ship has a type C LNG tank of approximately 400 m3 capacity.

“These new, ice-class 1A ships will be the first LNG-fueled large bulk carriers in the world, representing the latest in technology and innovation. CO 2 emissions per ton of cargo transported will be reduced by more than 50% in comparison to present vessels,” the company said.

“Deltamarin and ESL Shipping experts have worked together for two years to develop a ship concept, which takes a significant step by bringing commodity transportation into a new era of greener shipping. The trendsetting design is proof of the Finnish blue cleantech know-how and cooperation”, explains ESL Shipping Managing Director Mikki Koskinen.

The ships will be used to implement the newly signed agreement between ESL Shipping Ltd and the steel company SSAB covering SSAB’s inbound raw material sea transports within the Baltic Sea and from the North Sea. The aggregated sea transport volume covered by the agreement is estimated to be 6–7 million tons annually.

“ESL Shipping’s new customer agreement running for several years will secure growing freight volumes, and the new investments to be implemented will release old vessel stock for other transport needs. Besides their environmental benefits, the cost savings provided by the new technology will also allow better profitability,” says Aki Ojanen, Chairman of the Board of ESL Shipping and CEO of Aspo Group.

The announcement comes just a day after ESL Shipping’s deal with AB Fortum Värme on biofuel transport.

The agreement provides ESL Shipping with access to the renewable fuels transport market. The company’s transport operations to the new Värtan Energy Port in Stockholm are set to commence at the end of this year.

“Fortum will take an important step when its Stockholm power plant switches to more sustainable energy generation and the biofuel-fired CHP plant is completed.  Biofuel is undeniably a good thing for sustainable development.  The transport agreement with ESL Shipping ensures ship transport around the year in the ever-changing conditions of the Baltic Sea, and large shipments are important in efficient operations,” says Trading Manager Kjell Nilsson of Fortum.

ESL Shipping’s present fleet consists of 14 vessel units, and in 2014 the cargo volume carried was 12.1 million tons. The company’s main clients are the steel, power generation and chemical industries.

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